Illinois officer faces possible felony conviction after incident

An Illinois police officer is facing legal trouble after a domestic incident involving a female roommate. Police have since leveled five charges against him, including aggravated and domestic battery. He was incarcerated with a bail of $75,000. Any felony conviction could result in jail time or other penalties, but this officer could be in jeopardy of losing his job as well.

His department placed him on administrative leave once the charges were revealed. He is accused of violently attacking a female inside the home. Authorities believe he may have strangled, choked and struck the woman before officers responded. When he was taken in to custody, authorities noted that he did not resist.

The man was employed as an officer at another department before he transferred to his current employer. The department chief indicated the officer had orders of protection against him from the prior year, but it is unknown if he was in violation of those orders or even what they specified. Even if no felony conviction is obtained, the prior orders already affected his employment. Police officers are sworn to uphold the law, and when behavior occurs to bring an officer's reputation into question, it could result in serious social and workplace consequences against him.

Domestic violence is a serious concern in Illinois and across the country. However, these types of situations can quickly spiral out of control due to the emotions involved. There is a significant distinction between accusations of criminal conduct and a formal conviction, and this man enjoys the same presumption of innocence that attaches to all individual accused of a crime in this state. Nevertheless, with the potential for a felony conviction should the charges be proven in court, every reasonable effort will be necessary to protect his legal rights and help him secure a positive outcome that will hopefully salvage his career as well.

Source: bnd.com, "Metro-east police officer placed on leave after battery charges," Carolyn P. Smith, Jan. 19, 2013

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